Relationship with appraiser

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Jan 20, 2003
As a buyer it would seem like I would want to find an independent appraiser, who can verify diamond qualities, give a valuation, and at the same time, someone who does not have a relationship with the diamond seller. Is that standard procedure? If so, how is that done so that he/she will feel safe that an object costing thousands of dollars is returned?


Jan 16, 2003
Hi Riley,
It is very crucial when you are spending and making an investment on a vey important purchase. When you buy a house, you don't have the folks selling it do the appraisal, right? ;-) The trick is to find a truly independent appraiser that will be unbiased and very above board, both with the evaluation and the verification of the report. The ICGA labs accredited by the Amrican Gem Society are required not to be buying and selling, but there are very few of them in the USA, 7 to be exact. Along with gemological qualifications, look at the vital trade experience that is so important to be a good appraiser. Happy to answer any questions. We offer verification and forwarding services and I am sure most labs will.


Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
You are correct in your assumptions Riley.

Using the services of an independent appraiser who does not buy or sell and does not have affilations with diamond vendors is your best bet of buying with assurance. A good appraiser can keep you out of trouble and often save you thousands of dollars with an expenditure on your part in the neighborhood of $100.

I like to do my appraisals while the client waits and watches. It gives them the ultimate in reassurance.

If this isn't possible, you need to be able to identify your diamond in order to know that you're getting the same stone back. This can be done through many different means. If you have an accurate diamond grading report on your diamond, the characteristics listed along with the diagram of the stone will enable you to check and see if it is the same diamond.

If you don't have any documentation on your diamond, you need to find a characteristic of the stone which allows you to identify it. You'll need a 10 power loupe or microscope, and the help of a local professional. Examine the stone until you lock on a characteristic unique to that diamond, and memorize it. This would usually be an inclusion of a particular size, shape, color, type and location.

High quality stones are more difficult. If they're loose, the exact carat weight coupled with diameter and depth measurements is your best indicator. The fact that it is "clean" is also an indicator. If you get back your stone and it doesn't weigh the same, doesn't measure the same and doesn't look the same, then you know the jig is up.

The very best thing to do though is to verify the integrity and credibility of the person you're dealing with. A professional appraiser depends on continued patronage in order to make a living. He is not likely to jeopardize this by switching stones. It's relatively easy to check out any appraiser. Just pick up the phone and call half-a-dozen jewelers in his area and ask them if they consider the appraiser exemplary and of high integrity. Local jewelers are usually in the know as to who's good, and who's not.

You could also do the same thing through this forum. There are several good independent appraisers listed in the "appraisers" section, many of whom frequent this forum. There's plenty of consumers posting who have experience with one or another.

It's also helpful to get a bio of the appraiser with his experience and credentials, along with a list of references. Many have this listed on their websites, or will fax them to you.
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